Stop Forest Fires

Protect our Wilderness Areas

If you enjoy spending time outdoors hiking, biking, camping, or just enjoying the fresh air and view, then you have a vested interest in helping to prevent forest fires, grass fires or any other types of wildfires. Here in Southern California, where I live, we are in the national spotlight nearly every summer and fall because of a new rash of forest fires. Often, they spread into residential areas and have been known to destroy hundreds of homes. Firefighters have lost their lives.  Just in 2013, a number of firefighters have died in Arizona and California while fighting these horrible fires.  In addition, animals lose their habitat. The fear of fire often causes outdoor enthusiastics to be banned from certain parks and wildlife preserves. Sadly, since relatively few Southern California conflagrations are caused by lightning strikes or other natural events, the vast majority of them are caused by humans and, thus, are preventable. Chances are good that this is true where you live, too.  What can you do to help prevent a forest fire, wild fire, or grass fire from happening in your area?

If you want to enjoy your time outdoors, let's all work together to prevent wildfires!

If you would like to research the impact of these events on the environment, you may wish to use this direct link to books about forest fires on Amazon.

Actions You Can Take to Prevent Wildfires

1. If you enjoy spending time outdoors, be careful with your campfires. Keep them small, and never leave a campfire unattended. Do not leave it until you are absolutely certain that it is completely out. Keep a bucket of water nearby while it is burning and pour the water over the coals after the last of the wood has burned down and the embers seem to have cooled.

2. Do not smoke when you are hiking, and never throw a lit cigarette or burning match onto the ground. The same is true when you are driving. Never throw a lit cigarette or burning match out of a car window. In the summer and fall, the grass along many roadways is quite dry. It doesn't take much heat for the grass to begin smouldering and, in some cases, burst into flames.

3. Vehicles that have pulled to the side of the road have caused a number of grass fires. If you must pull over, try to avoid areas where you will drive or stop over dry grass or brush. The heat from your exhaust pipe or muffler could create sparks and, eventually, flames, damaging not only the forest, but your automobile, as well!

4. Dangerous sparks can also be created if your muffler is dragging on the pavement. If you believe that something is dragging under your car, stop driving and have the item repaired as soon as possible.

5. Avoid burning leaves, or setting other intentional fires, especially when your area is particularly dry. The flames can quickly get out of control.

6. Do not use fireworks in national parks or wilderness areas. These areas are often full of dry underbrush, and it is easy to set these wildlife areas on fire ... often resulting in death, injury, and loss of animal habitat!

7. Unfortunately, a large number of wildfires are intentionally set by arsonists.  The news reporters in our area have stated that these arsonists are frequently young, white men in their teens or twenties, although anyone can be an arsonist.  If you see suspicious activity, call 911 and report the incident immediately. Suspicious activity would include teens or adults who seem to be trying to set a fire, teens who are trespassing, people seen running from an area just before flames burst into view, rising smoke where there shouldn't be any, etc. Let the police or fire authorities investigate to see if there is a problem. The more quickly a fire is put out, the less danger it will pose to people and the environment.

Yes, you can prevent a wild fires!

You may also want to read:

Fire Safety Tips for the Home

Smoke Alarms for the Home

Products to Help You Quit Smoking

Preventing Death and Injury from Fireworks

Hiking California's Laguna Coast Wilderness Areas

photo courtesy of photoxpress.com

If You Want to Know More About Wildfires:

Forest Fires: Behavior and Ecological Effects
Amazon Price: $122.00 $94.56 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 24, 2015)
Perfect book for those who want a comprehensive understanding of fires, how they behave and their effect on the environment.